Alumni in the News - June 2017

June 25, 2017


Nowak '79 Shares DNA to Success  

Athena Award-winner is a leader in human genomics field

The monumental career of Norma Nowak ’79, PhD, spans 15 years of groundbreaking research on the human genomics project. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership recently honored Nowak with the Athena Award for her leadership and research in the human genomics field.

She deftly juggles multiple roles as executive director of University at Buffalo's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, chief scientific officer of her growing company, Empire Genomics, and professor in the university's medical school.

In an article in The Buffalo News, Nowak reflects on her life and career.


 Walter ’15 is Miss New York

Alumna promotes goal-setting workshop for students

Gabrielle Walter ’15 was crowned Miss New York and competes in the Miss America Pageant in September. Each competitor develops a platform to promote in the community. Walter’s DreamUp New York works with disenfranchised children to identify their goals and brainstorm concrete steps to make them realities.

Read More


Worldwide Reunion

Former Canisius international students globetrot for nuptials  

In June, 12 former Canisius international students traveled from around the world to Japan to celebrate the wedding of Takashi Minemura, a fellow international student who is a native of that country.  Pictured from left to right are: Leonard Mitjuschkin, an exchange student from Dortmund, Germany, spring 2012; Juliana Pinheiro Maia, an exchange student from Brazil, fall 2011; Luis Valdés Cuesta, an exchange student from Oviedo, Spain, spring 2012; Hester Suttorp, an exchange student through the Fulbright program, 2011-2012 academic year; Maxime Smidt, an exchange student from Antwerp, Belgium, fall 2011;  Riedman Sagastume, graduate class of 2013, Honduras; Vincent Van Oevelen, an exchange student from Antwerp, Belgium, fall 2011; Hamad Alessa, undergraduate class of 2015 (degree awarded 2/1/15), Brazil; Lino Váquez Tenorio, an exchange student from Oviedo, Spain, 2011-2012 academic year; Alexane Colombet, a dual degree student with Ecole de Management in Strasbourg, France, undergraduate class of 2012; and Sophie Blackshaw, an exchange student from Australia, spring 2012.



Called to Service 

Four alumni sworn in as Buffalo Police Officers

Congratulations to four Canisius alumni who were sworn in as Buffalo Police officers during a ceremony on June 9 in the Montante Cultural Center. Pictured from left to right are: William C. Lis ’11, Thomas J. Olejniczak ’09, Brendan M. Barren ’16 and Jake J. Giarrano ’15.


SUNY Oswego Promotes Eichhorn ’99, PhD  

Named dean of graduate studies

Kristen Campbell Eichhorn ’99, PhD, takes over as the new dean of graduate studies at SUNY Oswego on July 1. She previously served as a former presidential faculty fellow and chair of the communication studies department at the college.

Read More


Propis ’91 Recognized by IICF

Acknowledged for contributions to advance diversity

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) recognized Marya Propis ’91 with its prestigious Inclusion Champion Award. The award recognizes those working to advance diversity within the field.

Propis is senior vice president, head of Broker Engagement at AIG’s U.S. commercial group. The IICF is a unique nonprofit that unites the collective strengths of the insurance industry to help communities and enrich lives through grants, volunteer service and leadership.

Read More


GriffNews Wins Gold Award at PRSA Awards

 Alumni newsletter honored at annual event

GriffNews is now officially an award-winner! The College Communications team picked up a gold Excalibur Award for the online alumni newsletter at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Buffalo Niagara Excaliburs. The annual event, which honors excellence in the public relations industry, was held June 8 at the Tralf Music Hall.